d-raw studios has created a poolside beach bar, sun terrace and dining space for Crete hotel
London-based architectural collective d-raw studios has completed the latest phase of the redesign and development of Cretan destination hotel, Daios Cove, in collaboration with British hospitality innovators, The Ghost Group and local architectural practice APK Architects, Athens. The restaurant is helmed by the award-wining Ducasse Conseil team.
An extraordinary five-level, 300-apartment luxury island destination built around a natural amphitheatre that rises up from a secluded sandy bay, the new work supports the original premise: to recreate the ambience of a Cretan hamlet via a gathering of village-like components, evoking a charm usually bereft of large hotel complexes. As such, the multi-stage project encompasses architectural enhancements, bespoke interior & furniture design and landscaping across it’s bar, restaurant, pool, activity, garden and terrace areas.
At the ocean edge, d-raw studios has created a poolside beach bar, sun terrace and dining space featuring a wooden pagoda that shades a raised platform of sun-loungers, alongside a cluster of low-level cabanas and slatted timber canopies. Conceived as a series of indoor-outdoor rooms, a smattering of trees and lush foliage including native fan palms, banana leaf and regal bird of paradise plants weave between the zones, harmonising nature and the built environment. A bespoke lounger design means all the reclining seating can be converted into sofa-style furniture near-instantaneously, smoothly transitioning the space from casual to formal, day to night, as desired.
Breaking from convention, in an unusual shift away from standard ‘piscine blue’, the sweeping, ocean-view infinity pool has been reworked in a deep emerald green – darkening the colour of the water so it merges seamlessly with the rich viridescence of the surrounding Aegean sea.
The Ocean restaurant on the next level, with open kitchen wall allowing diners to witness the energy and skill of the chef’s at work, is also linked to a freshly constructed terrace and private dining courtyard area. The terrace is ingeniously cocooned with raw timber and bamboo blinds, offering havens of shelter for socialising even in high winds.
Annexed to the Restaurant the team has also introduced the Culinary School, helmed by award-wining Ducasse Conseil team – The space has been reconfigured to extremely rigid specifications conducive to creating the optimum cooking experience, but stylistically reinterpreted by the Ghost group and d-raw studios (including hydraulic tables that allow students to both cook while standing and sample/dine when seated) to match the over-arching destination aesthetic.
For the gardens, which weave throughout the hotel, d-raw studios worked with local horticulture experts to create mood-enhancing, locally-sensitive landscape designs, prioritising shade and privacy, but also colour and scent to champion a 360° sensorial experience.
A respect for locality, heritage, sustainability and the long-term legacy of the destination heavily inform the materials palette, too; all the wood has been locally sourced and treated to allow it to ‘grey’ gracefully, advocating for the beauty and allure of organic ageing while other (also local) substrates include antique terracotta, traditional limestone, Calacatta oro marble, antique bronze, and chevron teak marquetry. Mosaic jade stone and crackle-glazed porcelain tiles in bottle green both echo the reimagined pool.
The venues are linked by a glass funicular carving through the centre of the destination, transporting guests from the beach to the restaurants and their rooms via the verdant garden areas – showcasing every aspect of the new design.
For further information on Daios Cove, please visit the website www.daioscove.com
London-based boutique architectural collective d-raw studios specialises in translating unique brand narratives into bespoke built environments. With over two decades experience creating flagship stores, restaurants, entertainment venues, workspaces and homes, the team is known for its fresh modernist perspective, locality-sensitive concepts and original collaborations with furniture, lighting and installation-based artists, designers and makers.
Standout projects include the ongoing development of British fashion brand Reiss’ flagship store portfolio (including Reiss One, its ground-breaking mix of atelier, apartment, store and HQ); the reimagining of England’s original seaside playscape, Dreamland Margate; International venues for women’s only members’ club, Allbright; décor designs for the immersively-theatrical Fogg’s cocktail venues; concept architecture for pioneering global property developers, Fabrix; and most recently the architecture, interiors and landscaping of Cretan holiday destination, Daios Cove.